HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, N.J. -- The Hasbrouck Heights Junior Aviators defeated the Carlstadt/East Rutherford Wildcats, 21-8, Saturday night at their home Depken Field in the Meadowlands Football League Super Bowl.
The Aviators finished 10-1 and avenged a 12-0 loss last year to the Wildcats in the 2014 Super Bowl, thanks to staunch defense and long touchdown runs from quarterback Jake Diaz and running back Anthony DiLascio.
It was also Hasbrouck Heights’ seventh Super Bowl victory in the Junior Division since 1988, the most in the league during that time period.
DiLascio was the game’s leading rusher with 98 yards on 18 carries, while Diaz finished with 94 yards on 10 carries.
“We played a great game today,” Head Coach Mike Colaneri said. “Both teams played turnover-free football, and we used our toughness and our speed, to overcome a size disadvantage.
"But the greatest thing is for these kids is to experience a once-in-a-career opportunity to win a Super Bowl on their home field. You only get one chance every 12 years to have the game on your home field, and for them to win it on their home field is a great thing.”
Diaz got the game's first score against the Southern Division champs in the second quarter, running 43 yards off the right side behind blocks from Kevin Campen, Justin Wexler, and Trey Armonaitis.
The score remained 7-0 at halftime behind stout defense from Armonaitis, Christian Lopez and others.
Early in the second half, Diaz went 49 yards down the left side for a touchdown behind blocks from Michael Canavatchel and Blake Freschi. The point after made it 14-0.
Carlstadt/East Rutherford rebounded with a 13-play drive ending in a one-yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion made it 14-8.
The Wildcats made more big plays and seemed to momentum, but the Heights defense stiffened.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Aviators held their opponent to zero total yards on three running plays. Then, on fourth and 10, Nick Cuccio and Diaz stopped a screen pass receiver for no gain with just under 2 minutes left.
Diaz iced the game with a 37-yard TD run.
Shane Ike then intercepted a last-gasp Wildcats pass with 1:08 remaining.
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